Having twice led Welling United had to settle for a draw in their Vanarama National League South local derby match against Dartford.

They came into the game off the back of an excellent result at Chelmsford City and their performance against the promotion hopefuls will give them additional reason for optimism as they move into the second half of the season.

George Alexander was brought in on loan from Bromley and put straight into the starting line-up. Dylan Gavin missed out in the only change to the Welling starting line-up from the Chelmsford match.

Alexander had an early shot blocked by Tom Bonner then former Welling favourite Dan Wilks saved a low Taylor Maloney shot. Welling continued to cause problems and Medy Elito’s shot struck Bonner on the line and rebounded to safety.

Former Bromley player Luke Coulson created Dartford’s first opportunity with a deep cross that came off a Welling head and hit a surprised Charlie Sheringham and went wide.

Stefan Payne sent Aaron Powell away down the wing and he sent a brilliant cross over to Ade Azeez who headed down aiming for the bottom corner only to see it come back off the base of the post.

Sheringham flicked on a Coulson free kick, but Connor Essam’s attempted overhead kick was unsuccessful and Welling continued to look the more dangerous with James Dunne pulling the strings in midfield.

Azeez had a shot deflected wide by Max Statham before Welling went ahead two minutes before half time. Maloney delivered a corner, Kodi Lyons-Foster nodded it back and Alexander showed his instincts for a goal with a close range overhead kick.

Lyons-Foster and Jamie Sendles-White went up for another corner in stoppage time allowing Dartford a chance to break. Coulson burst away but Powell slowed him down and Rob Howard’s perfectly timed challenge snuffed out the danger.

Sheringham shot wide from distance early in the second half and Dartford’s fast start was rewarded when they equalised eight minutes in. Jack Smith’s shot was blocked but it came out to Sheringham, and he made no mistake from fifteen yards.

Samir Carruthers shot well over before Welling stunned Dartford by going back ahead. Maloney put Azeez in behind and his fierce drive gave Wilks no chance as it hit the underside of the bar and came down over the line.

Neither side created an opportunity until the last fifteen minutes when substitute Gavin got in behind but Bonner got back to make a brilliant block. Maloney shot wide from twenty yards but it was Dartford who drew the next blood with seven minutes remaining. Carruthers and Jernade Meade played a triangle move before Carruthers put substitute Malachi Napa in. He measured it up before slotting it inside the far post.

Napa might have won it heading into stoppage time, but Myles Roberts made an outstanding save then Pierre Fonkeu blasted wide.

Had either of those gone in it would have been tough on the Wings and Warren Feeney’s team will now travel to Cheshunt on Tuesday in the hope that they can build on their last two results.

Welling United: Roberts, Howard, Powell, Dunne, Sendles-White, Lyons-Foster, Elito, Alexander (Gavin 69), Payne, Azeez (Kassarate 87), Maloney. Sub not used: McKenzie-Lyle, Parry, Lisbie.